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HPAI Toolkit

Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI), also known as “bird flu,” is a severe and highly contagious disease.

Caused by avian influenza virus A (H5N1), it’s often spread by wild birds like ducks and geese during their migrations, especially during the spring and fall. When spread to domestic poultry, like chickens and turkeys, HPAI can be deadly and wipe out entire flocks in just a matter of days. Outbreaks of HPAI can result in culling entire flocks, loss of income, and an overwhelming toll on farmers’ and workers’ physical and mental health. HPAI requires a rapid response to keep the virus from spreading between flocks and farms.

UMASH has prepared this toolkit to help poultry farmers enhance prevention with biosecurity protocols, identify the signs and symptoms of HPAI in birds, and stay connected to additional resources from USDA – APHIS and state departments of agriculture.

UNDERSTAND AVIAN INFLUENZA

Be informed by learning the facts, and latest information on avian influenza outbreaks.

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PRACTICE BIOSECURITY

Be prepared with a biosecurity plan to help prevent the spread and protect your flock.

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MONITOR YOUR FLOCK’S HEALTH

Know the signs of disease and check your flock daily for signs of illness.

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Signs of disease:

  • Sudden death
  • lack of energy, appetite and coordination
  • purple discoloration and/or swelling of various body parts
  • diarrhea; nasal discharge; coughing
  • sneezing; reduced egg production and/or abnormal eggs.

Quarantine sick birds right away.

REPORT SICK BIRDS

Know the procedure for reporting sick birds in your state.

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  • Minnesota

    Minnesota Avian Influenza Hotline:
    1-833-454-0156
    Press 1
    to report a sick domestic bird. Press 2 to report a sick or dead wild bird. Press 3 for biosecurity and general poultry management questions. Press 4 for permitting and control areas. Press 5 for all other inquiries.

  • Iowa

    If producers suspect signs of HPAI in their flocks, they should contact their veterinarian immediately. Possible cases should also be reported to the Iowa Department of Agriculture at (515) 281-5305. Concerned residents both within and outside the areas affected by avian influenza are encouraged to use the Iowa Concern Hotline at 1-800-447-1985 if they have questions.

  • North Dakota

    All bird owners, whether commercial producers or backyard enthusiasts, should continue to practice good biosecurity, prevent contact between their birds and wild birds, and immediately report sick birds or unusual bird deaths to State/Federal officials, either through the state veterinarian at 701-328-2655 or your private veterinarian.

  • Michigan

    The following hotlines are available for reporting suspected HPAI infections.
    DOMESTIC BIRDS:
    800-292-3939 (daytime); 517-373-0440 (after-hours)
    WILD BIRDS:
    517-336-5030

  • Wisconsin

    To report a disease, contact the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) using one of the​ methods below to ensure the report will reach DATCP within the time limit:
    Phone: 608-224-4872, Mon-Fri, 7:45am-4:30pm
    Email: DATCPAnimalImports@wisconsin.gov
    Evenings & weekends: (800) 943-0003. Tell the duty officer you are reporting a potential animal disease.

RESOURCES BY ROLE:

Resources for Small and Backyard Flocks

For more information about HPAI and Biosecurity:

HPAI NEWS

  • April 3, 2024
    Safeguard your farm: Protect you and your livestock from HPAIUPDATED MARCH 2024 Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI), also known as “bird flu,” is a severe and highly contagious disease. Caused by avian influenza virus A (H5N1), it’s often spread by wild birds like ducks and geese during their migrations, especially during the spring and fall. When spread to domestic poultry, like chickens and turkeys, HPAI can be deadly and wipe out entire flocks in just a matter of days. While HPAI primarily occurs in birds, poultry, and some mammals, for the first time in U.S history, there have been detections of HPAI A (H5N1) infections in dairy cows and goats. Learn more about HPAI in dairy herds in this USDA Q and A, and how to protect your livestock from avian influenza and what cattle and beef producers can do to reduce livestock and avian interaction with resources from University of Minnesota Extension. HUMAN INFECTION Avian (bird) influenza (flu) A viruses, including A (H5N1), do not usually infect humans. However, there have been some rare cases of human infection with these viruses mainly through unprotected, direct physical contact or close exposure with sick or dead birds, and infected animals (including, recently, infected dairy cattle livestock). Find more specific recommendations, like wearing proper PPE (personal protective equipment), for farmers; poultry, backyard flock, and livestock owners; and workers. [...] Read more...
  • May 5, 2022
    SPOTLIGHT: UMASH Center Director Answers Avian Influenza FAQsMAY 2022 Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI), also known as “bird flu,” is a serious, highly contagious disease that is often fatal to chickens and turkeys. As a record outbreak among domestic and wild birds’ spreads across the nation, UMASH Center Director, Dr. Jeff Bender, responded to frequently asked questions in Talking Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza with the U of M. The article is reprinted below with permission Talking Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza with the U of M Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI), or bird flu, is an extremely contagious viral illness that affects both wild birds and livestock, such as chicken and turkeys. As HPAI cases continue to rise in the U.S., University of Minnesota School of Public Health Professor Jeff Bender shares his expertise on the disease.   For more resources on HPAI, check out the UMASH toolkit. About the School of Public Health The University of Minnesota School of Public Health improves the health and wellbeing of populations and communities around the world by bringing innovative research, learning, and concrete actions to today’s biggest health challenges. It prepares some of the most influential leaders in the field, and partner with health departments, communities, and policymakers to advance health equity for all. Learn more at sph.umn.edu. About “Talking…with U of M” “Talking…with U of M” is a resource whereby University of Minnesota faculty answer questions on current and other topics of general interest. Feel free to republish this content. If you would like to schedule an interview with the faculty member or have topics you’d like the University of Minnesota to explore for future “Talking…with U of M,” please contact University Public Relations at unews@umn.edu. HPAI TOOLKIT [...] Read more...
  • February 15, 2023
    SPOTLIGHT: Promoting safety and health during avian influenza outbreaksFEBRUARY 2023 Outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) continue to occur across the United States and globally. A recent NIOSH blog post, written by Carolyn Sheridan, RN, BSN; Jenna Gibbs, MPH, PhD; Matthew Spencer, CSP, SHRM-CP; John Gibbins, DVM, MPH, highlights efforts during the outbreak to communicate about HPAI, its risks to workers, and prevention strategies.  UMASH RESPONDS TO HPAI UMASH has responded to the HPAI outbreak by developing a toolkit to help small, backyard, and large-scale poultry farmers enhance prevention with biosecurity protocols, identify the signs and symptoms of HPAI in birds, and stay connected to additional resources from USDA – APHIS and state departments of agriculture. We have also served as a resource for many so far during the outbreak, including Ag Health and Safety Alliance™, who recently added HPAI information into their Gear Up for Ag™ programs. Gear Up for Ag™  has provided safety and health training for more than 6,000 young adults who work with livestock in the U.S. UMASH also partnered with Agrisafe Network™, Ag Health and Safety Alliance™, Great Plains Center for Agricultural Health, and Central States Center for Agricultural Safety and Health, to update a resource about personal protective equipment (PPE) for workers during avian flu outbreaks. RESOURCES [...] Read more...